Bill Liberti, class of 1981 alumnus, will return to the College today, March 31, to talk with students who are currently studying Liberti’s previous field, art and advertising design, as well as his current one, information technology (IT).
Liberti, who admitted he could not remember the last time he was in Ewing, was invited to the College by Peter Manetas, assistant vice president for the Office of Development to discuss his professions.
Liberti said his primary advice to these students would be to have an open mind and to not necessarily settle in one area.
“I went from a role in advertising design and wound up in the IT industry,” Liberti said. “It was very different than what I thought I would be doing when I started out. So, I think the main thing is to have some flexibility. You never know what turns your career might take and there can be some pretty interesting ones,” he said.
Liberti’s life has certainly taken a few interesting turns on the way to being one of the most successful graduates from the College in his field. His career has included jobs at the Defense Intelligence Agency and The Washington Post.
However, his journey began in 1981 when Liberti was studying at the College and also working for a book publishing company in Trenton.
One memory that Liberti fondly remembers from this time at the College is a project for a class where he had to create a floating sculpture.
“We had to build a sculpture that would float across one of the lakes,” Liberti said. “Well, me and my partner were able to make something successfully float across the lake. Things like that were a lot of fun because they got us out of the classroom and I really enjoyed that.”
Two years after graduation in 1983, Liberti settled in Washington D.C. after being hired by the Defense Intelligence Agency as a graphic designer and a layout artist.
After 15 years at the Defense Intelligence Agency, Liberti’s life took another turn that led him to The Washington Post in 1998.
Liberti would become the director of the IT Department at The Washington Post and work on events such as the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, the presidential election of 2000 and the Sept. 11 attacks.
Liberti learned much about journalism in his time at The Washington Post and experienced some extraordinary situations as well.
“I’d get a call from someone who needed a satellite phone because they were traveling to the deserts of Afghanistan or Iraq,” Liberti said. “They were going to file their stories from a laptop that was connected to a car battery that was connected to a satellite phone.”
Liberti’s time at The Washington Post came to an end in December 2009 when he accepted an early retirement package, but that has not stopped him from looking for another job.
Liberti has taken to the internet to start looking for new jobs by using social-networking sites such as Linkedln and Facebook.
“The job search is vastly different from the last time I was looking for a job in the ’90s,” Liberti said. “These (social-networking sites) have become very useful.”
Fortunately, Liberti has scheduled some time in between his interviews to come to the College and allow students to seek his advice.
“At this point I probably wouldn’t recognize anything anymore (at the College),” Liberti said. “But, the bottom line is I want these students to understand is that I often called upon the skills I learned at (the College) in aspects of working together and relationship building.”